• 1- Not again

    Tauri 31st, Year 55:

    Good and evil, true or false, rise or fall were the foundations of the world only known hanging on a fragile balance between rebirth and nothingness. After the Second Traumatism, nothing was left but chaos. Darkness all around, as if an everlasting night had descended on the universe dimmed into an overwhelming obscurity even concealing the dying stars’ feeble shine in agony. However, the end of the road could be seen from afar, mankind’s hope for renewal, a mass of rock and ice rotating in convoluted circles outside its orbit amidst Jupiter’s remains, named Calisto.
    By the windows a fleet of asteroids sprouted from nowhere, sucked in a supermassive black hole. From the scattering of the ancient solar system was left nothing but a crown of shattered planets gravitating around the Black Sun, a gigantic armoured spaceship.
    “Fall out!” ordered the Almighty One’s shifty voice harshly, so did the soldiers in charge of keeping the prisoner under check. He ordered them to resume their patrol, and turned around only when the last of them had left the room, staring down at the man in front of him:
    - I’d cooperate obediently if I were you.
    A raucous moan resonated from the shadows of a ripped hoodie: “Collaborate my ass” followed by a scream of deep pain when His hand smashed his skull violently into the wall: “Where are they hiding?”

    May 20th, 2055:

    “Act up, never give up~...” while humming Naomi checked her make up and put on electric blue circle lenses. At the wall of the backstage lounge a big LED clock indicated 8pm. “- Guys, are you ready? I want you all on stage in 5 minutes for a last rehearsal before the concert!” the NCL’s manager shouted in the speakers.
    Naomi got used to celebrity but did not like going on stage only to make money even though they had concluded a juicy contract with a worldwide major company. She kept her eyes mid closed, blindfolded by the lights. Her fingers danced on the strings, her voice ascended on higher notes. She felt her heart beat faster as the show was about to begin shortly. A tiny, shiny bug flew weightlessly in front of her eyes, then it vapored in thin air as if it were never born.
    “What was that, an optical delusion?” she wondered, replacing a broken string. She tuned carefully the new chord: “Or bad omen?”

    A little butterfly took flight towards the city’s skyline, crawled through tonight’s traffic jam, landed softly on a wild flower bush, its tiny wings sparkling in the light of dusk.
    - How long will you sit down on the terrace to admire the sea, Marcus?
    - Melancholy, perhaps. That’s how it feels to me Dora.
    - Stop mourning about the past, shouldn’t you?
    - Guess so, Marcus responded, eyes low to conceal his tears. I’m sorry Dora, I’m so sorry... I should have...
    - You should come inside for dinner! Theodora responded harshly arms crossed over her chest. “Oh!” She caught glimpse of something shiny among the roses, a butterfly. The little guy looked like he thrashed about to break free from traitorous thorns when she picked it up between her palms, She felt unexpectedly relaxed for a few seconds, soothed by the sight of its little wings swishing the air. A smile curled her lips as she watched him whirl in the dying sunlight gracefully. Her fingers reached for the thread of blue light fleeting in its trail as if it was going to set off in the time of a blink, with time she learned how to perceive those chords of destiny even without using telekinetic skills. Stupefied she looked up at the tree’s crown then sketched a pale smile:
    - It’s about 8pm; let’s go back inside.
    - You’re being overly romantic sometimes, Dora.

    - This is our last song for tonight, A Lone Bird’s Melody. Thank you for your continued support all this time since the very beginning! Our latest CD’s limited edition is available for sale after the show!
    Naomi adjusted her mike under the assembly’s round of heartfelt applauses. Spotlights set on soft brightness illuminated the stage while steamy clouds of smoke plunged the hall into a blue starry fog. She counted silently one, two, three, four as the mist dissipated. Her nails floated hesitantly on the strings: “All this darkness all around swallows me whole...” Her voice hushed quietly through the speakers like a whisper coming from a past long gone. “All the secrets I’ve been hiding... all the years I’ve been waiting... to see you again...” Her hand slipped off the guitar, her voice faltered on missing words. Her fingers grabbed the mike angrily. Once again, she was losing control, in front of all. Five years were not enough. Breathless, she could hardly hold on the last notes higher and higher, tears flowing down her cheeks. There was no need to hide her sadness anymore. She just wanted to see her brother once in five years, only one more time.
    - You did it again, Nao’ commented Viktor, the recently hired bassist when the band gathered in the backstage lounge after the concert. You sure, it’s fine to play that song knowing in advance it brings back hurtful memories?
    - Watch your mouth Vik, we morally support her but none of us can understand how she feels inside, intervened Melvin, Naomi’s right-hand as co-founder and main guitarist of the Next Century Loners.
    - Geez cut the crap guys! No more fighting allowed between you two! Naomi remarked exasperated. By the way I’m fine Melvin, I have to live on anyway. Thanks for your concern though.
    - You’re very welcome.

    Naomi drove fast across the boulevard by car to a wealthy residential building situated ideally nearby the city heart crowned by a verdant private park. She owned a well-furnished snug flat on the third floor accessible by a glass elevator. Dazed she grabbed a box of pasta in the fridge and poured cold water in a cooking pan then switched on the hi-fi system to play relaxing orchestra music.
    How things have gone wrong so badly?
    She felt relieved that the world had been saved just in time. Yet, it looked like the new world was hanging on a fragile balance, a delusional feeling of safety and comfort. Esteemed economists and politicians independent from the temporary regime established to form a new democratic government in the long term were even worried about the global world expansion: natural resources would soon be lacking to welcome everyone, wars were declared to obtain rights for exploiting arctic snow pits in order to produce water, some developing countries suffered harshly from the global warming always the first victims of major disasters. Ruling over the Federation was the Aftermath Republic, the wealthiest country of the after world influent in both worldwide conflicts and money affairs. There is a place for everyone on Earth if we save on natural resources long enough was their motto, sadly the leading party had their hopes too high even if everyone wanted to believe they were more than simple idealists. Finding safety, guaranteeing prosperity was all people could ever asked for but it was not enough to make them feel happy: they needed something else, something priceless even economical growth and urban development policies could not buy for them.
    Some might say they lived happily in their comfy homes without a worry about their lives endangered anymore, lost in the middle of the ocean, unbeknownst to them, it was just the beginning of the end.

    Tauri 31st, Year 55:

    - Dozing off Livi! Slowpoke, get your ass right there, right now!
    - What’s the matter Sty? You scared me!
    - Breaking news from the Galactic Safety Committee! A fleet of Black Knights is in approach towards Odyssea!
    - War again... An endless circle of destruction and rebirth... why to take arms in order to maintain peace? Zoe Da Livia mumbled between her teeth. Annoyed she hurried through the corridor leading to the assembly room preceded by her comrade the hot-tempered Styx Van Hellson. “They found him.” Styx answered emotionlessly. “You know what it means, right?” Zoe shrugged her shoulders: “We’ll have to fight!”
    - I disagree!
    - Control yourself Lance!
    - Here you go, yet again Styx observed when the two barged in the hall that looked rather like a wild jungle ravaged by a hurricane than a regular council office result of another dispute between their companions, Sylvestre Floralès queen mother of nature and Lancaster Mc Maelstrom weather commander who had the ability to control weather, summon raging storms out of the blue when infuriated as he was now, pointing an accusing finger at Sylvestre:
    - Even trying to negotiate with them is purely reckless! What can we do against a thousands men army armed for war, unless provoking the third greatest loss of humanity? Huh?
    - You know it well! Sylvestre responded. They will...
    - Their goal is clear enough, isn’t it?
    - Come down Lance, Syl, we can’t assert that Chronos is still alive based on mere rumours from their channels! Styx intervened
    - Always late you two! Lancaster admonished them when Styx and Zoe crawled throughout the room among the vegetation. Where’s Judge?
    - God knows, Styx replied coldly. Never there when needed, that’s for sure.
    Unconcerned, Sylvestre snapped her fingers. Around them, wild bushes and climbing plants stopped growing, withered, transformed into a pile of shattered dead leaves before they collapsed to ashes. Then, the companions settled at the four cardinal points around a glassy conference table for their weekly meet-up when all of a sudden a fifth person burst in their conversation, summoned to the audience through a teleportation portal. When the light dissipated, a little fairy going by the name of Faeri Dei stood in the middle of them, her face masked under an auburn veil. She casted her eyes up at the assembly, holding carefully a shiny compass  between her hands, wrapped in an eerie silver dress seemingly too large for her:
    - War is knocking at the door, once again. 

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